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What’s the Problem with Unchecked Government Spying? Visit the FBI Vault and Find Out

Over the last month, it’s been revealed that the United States government has been sweeping up unlimited amounts of data on private internet use, e-mail, text messaging, phone calls, and even postal traffic, all without warrants. What’s wrong with that? The most direct, literal answer is that it’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment of [...]

Dirty Bills Show Who’s Got The Power

A sample of congressional legislation introduced this week:

H.R. 2877 would cut taxes on fossil fuel pipelines.

H.R. 2885 would exempt investments from income tax.

S. 1401 would dramatically increase the coastal areas in which offshore drilling for crude oil can take place.

S. 1402 would eliminate taxes for people who get their money by [...]

Senate Blocks Amendment To Restrict Aid To Egypt After Military Coup

Roll call of the U.S. Senate vote blocking a legislative amendment by Rand Paul to restrict U.S. aid to Egypt. [...]

Activists Support Rush Holt Bill To Repeal the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act

U.S. Representative and Senate candidate Rush Holt has introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act, to repeal the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act. He deserves our help. [...]

Australian State Getting Ready For Same Sex Marriage

The opponents of marriage equality for heterosexuals and homosexuals have argued that that equality isn’t tolerable because same-sex marriage isn’t traditional.

New South Wales is preparing to be the next place to declare: Tradition schmadition! The parliament there is now preparing legislation to make same-sex marriages legally recognized. It would be the first Australian [...]

Fact Check: Are the “Extremes from Each Party” Really in Control of Congress?

As part of its push to change politics to prevent “unseemly populism,” cut Social Security and Medicare, deunionize teachers and restore “respect for wealth creation,” the “Common Sense Coalition” identifies this platform as part of the “common sense” “center,” deviations from which are “extreme.” In a May 1 guest post at The Common Sense Coalition, [...]

Congress Votes Against Protecting Human Health From Dangerous Coal Waste

For 231 members of Congress, the basic idea of responsible waste management by the coal industry was too much. [...]

Roll Call: Who In Congress Voted To Keep The NSA Spying On American Phone Calls?

Did Democratic Party members vote in 2008 and 2012 because they thought that Barack Obama would work with the Republican Party to prevent reform of George W. Bush’s unconstitutional electronic surveillance systems? President Obama seems to think so. [...]

Is Your Member of Congress Rewarding Corporations that Move Production Out of the U.S.?

As years pass, corporations have been cutting more and more manufacturing jobs in America and shipping those jobs halfway around the world to factories in Asia, which then ship their products back to the United States for sale. There’s nothing wrong in the abstract with people in Asia having jobs — it’s when we get [...]

Congressional Priority: Suspending Import Duties for Outsourced Goods

At Congress.gov, it’s possible to carry out a boolean search of the Congressional Record and proposed legislation to get a sense of both the rhetoric of speeches and the priorities for action in the U.S. Congress. The following figures represent legislation in most recently completed 112th Congress:

# of pieces of legislation before the Congress [...]

Flag “Defenders”: Is this a Desecration?

This morning, while breaking up camp on Mount Desert Island, I noticed that someone had placed a small polyester American flag next to a water spigot. In the course of regular use, the water spigot had hit the soil, kicked up some of that soil, and in the process placed dirt on the American flag. [...]